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You burp the baby, you shoot the gun, you change the diaper, a title pun. You drive the carpool, you fight away, you tuck them in, and you save the day.
Brett and Ellen, The Rotten Tomatoes Show

A typecast actor known for their macho action roles is cast in a movie where they play a tough guy Action Hero or macho guy type put in a position of responsibility for children. Sometimes this takes the form of a Badass and Child Duo. This usually results in in a Fish Out of Water situation that is Played for Laughs as the macho manly man struggles to deal with new and unfamiliar problems that most family men would consider par for the course, such as dealing with a Potty Emergency, trying to cook meals, balancing work and family, and putting up with a Mouthy Kid. The macho man is forced to learn new skills, though he often finds creative ways to apply his action hero skills to a more domestic situation. Usually the children are spoiled, mischievous or simply have very different personalities between them, and usually the "Action Hero" begins the movie "hating children" and gradually grows to love them over the course of the film, with the kids hating him at first and then growing to love him back.

To qualify as this trope, the casting is as important as the plot. A primary factor in Action Hero Babysitter is to see the actor in an unusual (for them) and often humorous situation. The specific details of the character are often less important than just the fact that they are a Badass or Action Hero, because that is what the actor invariably plays. This is similar to Playing Against Type, but instead of having the actor play someone unlike what they normally play, they play their regular character type but in an unusual situation. However, while the bulk of the movie will focus on domestic hijinks, there will often be at least a few action scenes, especially at the conclusion of the movie.

Examples of Action Hero Babysitter include:


  • The premise behind Beelzebub. So far there are four of them.
  • In one filler episode Zoro from One Piece is forced to take care of some babies after being forcibly adopted into a family that takes in kids with no home.
  • What Sanzo thinks he's become in the burial arc of Saiyuki before he visits the three aspects and realizes Goku isn't just some little kid who was stuck in a cave.


  • Kindergarten Cop with Arnold as a cop going undercover in a kindergarten.
  • T-800 from Terminator 2, also played by Arnold, has to protect the pre-teen John Connor.
  • The Game Plan The Rock as a football player unexpectedly having to raise a ballerina daughter.
  • The Cowboys with John Wayne has elements of this as his character is forced to learn how to deal with children he must use on a cattle drive ( but also somewhat subverts this trope when John Wayne's character is killed and the kids learn to kill in order to avenge his death and recover the stolen cattle).
  • Mr Nanny, with Hulk Hogan as a former pro wrestler taking a job as a nanny/bodyguard to a couple of bratty kids.
  • The Pacifier; Vin Diesel plays a Navy SEAL tasked with babysitting the spoiled five children of the scientist he failed to protect.
  • Jackie Chan in The Spy Next Door.

Live Action TV

Western Animation

  • In Teen Titans, Raven has an episode of this where she is in charge of three kids with superpowers.
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